Digital LED flex project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Nunny22, May 10, 2012.

  1. Nunny22

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 10, 2012
    3
    0
    Hi guys, thankyou for letting me join the forums.

    Im after some help and advice, i am working on a project using the digital LED flex, sometimes know as dream color.

    I have purchased some, along with a DMX controller from a local supplier who imports from China. Im finding the controller really isnt giving me the chases i require.

    So my questions,

    A, is there a controller that gives more wider control via DMX, ie offsets, layers etc

    B, is there any way to upload new chases to the controller i have

    C, how difficult would it be to create an interface from DMX and a simple piece of software to use to acheive what i require.

    D, how difficult would it to link the flex to some form of media server, ie arkaos

    Sorry if this is not inthe correct area of the forum, new to the scene and all.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  2. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    165
    9
    This needs more info.

    1) What is it that you have purchased, manufacturers code of the flex, and manufacturers code of the controller at least
    2) 'to achieve what I require' , please specify what exactly it is that you want to do?

    DMX interface I believe is relatively easy on a PIC. But relative depends on what you programming experience is, much the same as the media server question.
     
  3. Nunny22

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 10, 2012
    3
    0
    The product is the one in the link below

    http://www.ledtechnologies.co.uk/2012products/Digital_Flex_Set12v_IP65.php

    Controller is a version of the link below, i assume adapted to work with the digital flex

    http://www.ledtechnologies.co.uk/2012products/LED_(RGB)_DMX_Controller-Zoner.php

    My ideal situation would be to have control over 1 layer of colour, ie to set the whole flex to red, then be able to send a different colour up or down the length of the flex, it seems all the in built functions want to scroll through the rainbow, whereas i need it to be a little more controllable, maybe having a blue background, with a red section fading down the whole length. Or visa versa. Of course an ideal world, control of the size of the section moving would be amazing, as woul being able to control offsets, but i think that may be far too adventerous.

    My knowledge of programming is very little, but i really do need a solution to this if there is one available.

    Mike
     
  4. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    165
    9
  5. Nunny22

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 10, 2012
    3
    0
    The media server option was the last resort, im a lighting designer so more dmx control based.

    Would it be difficult to create some form of controller to acheive what i require?

    Thanks in advance

    Mike
     
  6. coldpenguin

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    165
    9
    It depends a lot on how that wire works.

    I am not even 100% convinced that the wire itself is DMX capable, the DMX controller sounds like a box which is plugged that sends signals to the chips on the wire. These chips could be custom programmed or 1wire switches etc.

    Assuming that the wire itself is DMX capable
    It looks like it might be a series of chips, with each chip running a set of 3 leds (from the pictures)

    If I were to design such a device.....
    Each chip could have its own address on the DMX, and I would make them consucutive.
    From what I remember of DMX (which was over 10 years ago), there was no protocol for allowing discovery of components. So I would label the firest device 0, and move up from there. Each device can have multiple 'bytes' sent to it through a personality assigned to it (a bit like a struct in c almost), so my guess would be, you would have an address->{LED0(R,G,B),LED1(R,G,B),LED2(R,G,B)}
    If you look on the Microchip website (www.microchip.com), there are several white-papers there that take you through RS485 (I think), which is similar to the DMX protocol (in fact, I think that some of the papers might actually be for the DMX protocol itself.
    The required hardware would be quite simple, a PIC, a suitable power supply, a couple of resistors I believe, and that couild be it.
    Then you would need to program the PIC to output a suitable output. Some pics even support serial output for RS485 in hardware. In which case, you need to decide what data to send, so with a decent enough chip, at high frequency this should be relatively easy.
    Try
    'select chip 0'
    'pause'
    'send 255,0,0'
    'pause'
    'send 0,255,0'
    'pause'
    'send 0,0,255'
    'pause'
    and see what happens.

    Whether it can be controlled to produce the output you fancy, will depend a lot on how the string reacts. Looking at the pictures, although the 'control/chip drivers' appear every 3 LEDs, the colour changes are not restricted to that.
     
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